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eriticism, Saxe bas earned for himself the name and and farcical drollery is more readily appreciated than style of a poet, as contra distinguished from a mere the most exquisite humor. But when the applauded verse-monger. In the artistical work of poetical “poem” of the “Hall” and “Rostrum composition he has a good share of both positive plain and passionless print, the case is widely and negative excellences. He has a ready and cor changed, and the former success promises very little rect appreciation of rhythm and great practical facil- for the present ordeal. But why need a writer care ity in the arrangement of words and syllables secun for the critics when “the million” applaud, and, dum artem. He can marshal in due order the rhymed what is better still, buy and pay for his productions? pentameters of Dryden and Pope as well as play with The man of the Ledger has taught these learned the varied and more sprightly measures of Moore and arbiters of literary jurisprudence that there may be Tom Hood. His poetical style is natural and direct; an appeal from their grave decisions, and Mr. Saxe his feet do not limp nor his rhymes grate when they may comfort himself against their censuros while ought to jingle. All this, to be sure, relates only to multiplied editions of his books follow each other in the outside of poetry, and it may exist without the in- rapid succession. Nor are these pieces destitute of spiring soul. Still, its verbal structure is an import- real merit, and even their censured properties have ant element of poetry. The intangible spirit dwells their value. The capabilities of the language for in certain verbal forms, and often really-good poetry punning was never before so thoroughly and successis only prose if removed from its appropriate lan fully tested, nor were its hitherto unthought-of guage. It is, therefore, the confession of a real ex affinities ever before so fully brought into notice. cellence to ascribe to a candidate for “the bays" As an instance of the successful imitation of sounds skill in the arts of versification.
and motion by poetic measures the “Rhyme of the As a poet Saxe ranks among the laughter-moving Rail” is unequaled, and the broad but pertinent class. Wit and humor are the qualities he chiefly burlesques upon the current “wise saws relies on, and he abounds in certain kinds of the tainly not to be contemned. former, but is almost wholly deficient in the latter. But I strongly suspect that as yet Mr. Saxe has His appreciation of a pun is wonderful, and he can not done justice to either himself or the world in scent a double entendre further than a vulture can what he has written. His taste for the grotesque snuff blood, and his impulse to pursue that sort of and amusing has allured him into a style of writing game when started seems to be wholly irresistible. in which his better parts can have but a partial deThis proclivity is evinced in nearly all his composi- velopment, and at which he can hope to be little tions, and in many of them it constitutes the whole more than a superior kind of harlequin. But he is spirit of the piece, and often it obtrudes itself most capable of a better destiny, and I am persuaded that inopportunely. I would not, as some do, wholly con if he ever attains to eminence it will be as a sentidemn this “figure of speech," though it should be mental writer. That he has the needful elements of used sparingly and only when it occurs naturally character for this I have no doubt, and am not withand appositely. It is, indeed, the "jester" of lit out hope that these will at length become dominant erature, and, like its prototype at baronial banquets, in him. A large experience of the joys and sorrows it may serve a good purpose when nothing better is of life, especially in the tender sympathies of the at hand; but, like the same character, unless closely household, or, better still, in the yearning emotions curbed, it may thrust itself forward when least of religious life might raise his muse into a higher desired.
sphere and attune his harp-strings to a sweeter and Satire is at once the easiest and most difficult of
loftier melody. The pieces entitled “ The Old Chapel all the forms of poetical compositions. For present Bell” and “ Bereavement” sufficiently attest bis effect in a limited circle it has great adaptation, and capabilities in that kind of composition; the former may be made an instrument of great power, though is among the most exquisite in the language, and is used by feeble and unskillful hands; but to raise it alone worth all else that he ever wrote. into a more elevated sphere so that it shall belong to We have had a literary festival, the centennial of all times and places requires the highest order of the birth of Schiller, when our savans and litterateurs poetical genius. Mr. Saxe has not gone out of the and some who were neither the one nor the other, beaten track in selecting subjects for his satirical dined at the Astor, and drank toasts and made muse, but has simply rung the changes on the time- speeches ostensibly in honor of the great transcendworn commonplaces. He gave the pattern of Wil-entalist, of whom it may be safely said most of liam Allen Butler's “Flora M'Flimsey" in his them knew very little, and had they known more “ Proud Miss M’Bride," and run a cotemporary race they would not have cared to learn more.
by his own “Money King,” and to my notion in both of especial interest. The announcements for the instances the Vermonter had the best of it, which is early winter trade are unusually meager, and even only faint praise. A large share of these pieces were the holiday offerings seem to present no peculiarlyoriginally spoken at certain public occasions, and attractive features. Still the book trade is active, their style and composition are, doubtless, largely and the great houses are reaping a golden harvest affected by that fact. In such cases present effect is on account of the demand for books already pubthe great object to be aimed at, and “bringing down lished and known to the reading public. The trade the house" is the criterion of excellence. They, in school books—the specialty of Barnes & Co. and accordingly, abound in “execrable"
of Ivison & Phinny, but somewhat shared by nearly quirks, and out-of-the-way witticisms, because broad every publishing house in the city-is immense and
highly profitable, and the style in which books of class Reviews of the country. As in former numbers instruction are now made would have been a wonder the papers are chiefly by comparatively young writhalf a century ago.
ers, which I take to be a recommendation rather While writing about books permit me to do your than otherwise. A good variety of subjects are disreaders a favor by directing their attention to cer- cussed, including in their range philosophy, science, tain elementary books of instruction, prepared by literature, and religion, and in most of the papers one of our citizens, Mr. G. P. Quackenbos, himself a there is much to commend and some things to conpractical educator. His work on “ English Compo- demn. Some time since the readers of the Review sition” has been before the public for a number of were rather startled at an article on the “ Moral Conyears past, and is gradually gaining the recognition dition of Infants," which received the almost unaniit so richly deserves. For practical utility it infi- mous disapprobation of the Methodist press. In this nitely excels all the “Philosophies of Rhetoric” number the subject is presented again-and here by that have ever been written, and both on account of one of our General conference editors-still more its real value and its availability, even to the par- elaborately stating and attempting to defend the tially educated it is entitled to a place in all institu- novel positions of the little essay of the late Mr. tions of learning, from the college to the grammar Mercein. A good share of liberty of thought is not school. Quite lately the same author has issued a objectionable in a publication designed chiefly for concise system of natural philosophy, having many thinkers, but it may be questioned whether even that of the good qualities of the preceding work, and, bas not been a little overdone in this case. It is both from its conciseness and the intelligibleness of hardly the right thing that a publication designed to its explanations, well suited to the classes in high serve the interests of the Church, especially in deschools and academies. This unasked commenda- fending its doctrines, should be used to undermine tion I give not for the benefit of either author or and destroy those doctrines. publishers, but because I think it is deserved, and But the great attraction of the Review since it may be useful to some who may read it. A multi- came into the hands of Dr. Whedon is in the editoplicity of new text-books is one of the great evils rial department. In detached thoughts and passing endured by our schools; it, therefore, is a matter of observations he is especially acute and suggestive, interest to all concerned to learn where they may and often after reading some book or paper his mind “get the best."
seems to scintillate with thoughts. I found some The Methodist Quarterly Review for October is a of these in the “book notices” of this number, not decidedly good number—comparing favorably with so much in the form of criticisms on the books named either its own former issues or the best of the first- as of side reflections.
Loon LAKE.—We open this volume with an exqui- , in the living realities of nature all around us. It is site engraving by Mr. Smielie, from an original paint- true that his pictures are in themselves a study. We ing by J. M. Hart, now in possession of N. B. Col- should regard them as such. No one can comprehend lins, Esq., of New York city. It was engraved ex- them unless time, and thought, and study be given pressly for this number, and our thanks are due to to them. But after all they are only a preparatory the proprietor, as well as the painter, for the free use lesson, designed to quicken our perception, deepen of the original painting for this purpose.
our interest, improve our methods. Then they would We apprehend that many of our readers, as they lead us out to study nature as she is portrayed in gaze upon that dreamy picture, will mentally inquire, the pictures of the great Artist. These pictures, “Where is Loon Lake?" We said “dreamy.” It is which we give you from month to month, have a dreamy only as applied to the imagination; for it is higher office than merely to please the eye or the a morning scene. It is a study for you, dear reader. fancy. They possess a deep-toned moral significance. See how those mists are being lifted up by the morn
No individual can rise from the thorough study of any ing beams. And as they rise and evanesce, how nat- one of the productions of our great artists without ural is the scene disclosed! Albeit, it is nature's own having ever after a better appreciation of nature, & stern solitude and jagged wildness. Suppose, then, more thorough comprehension of the delicate minuwe confess that even we—the editor who “knows tiæ, the interlacing of small particulars, whose harevery thing"-is ignorant of the geographical posi-monious blending makes up her grand and glorious tion of “Loon Lake.” What though it exists only pictures. Thus while such a picture as nature prein the ideal of the artist? Is not the conception true
sents fills the mind with wonder, it also inspires us to nature? May you not go forth and behold each with reverence for the mind that conceived it and the feature in its appropriate season and place? This hand that gave it being. Kind reader, take these picture may be a perfect transcript from nature. But hints. In the light of them study these gems of art. its value is not in the fact that it is a transcript from, Then will you find that even pictures have a higher but a study of nature. The artist quickens our dull and holier purpose than merely to please the eye. apprehension. He would teach us that what he PORTRAIT OF REV. ALFRED GRIFFITH.-This is the makes so beautiful on the canvas, bas its counterpart' first and only portrait ever published of this old and
venerated pioneer of Methodism. It was granted as became the companion of the semi-human beings that a special favor for our pages-and it is a favor our in Grecian fancy reveled beneath the waves, readers will appreciate. It is to be regretted that some of the noblest heroes of Methodism have passed “Joining the bliss of the gods, as they waken the coves-with
their laughter.” away without leaving behind them any portrait or picture by which their likenesses might be preserved Does not this fable symbolize that mysterious impulse and handed down to posterity. There is a moral which sometimes seizes upon the mind as the eye folpower in a portrait. The likeness of General Wash lows the steep descent of the bottom fading away in ington, however rudely expressed, hanging upon the the dim distance-to go down and explore the hidden dingy walls of cabins and cottages of the poor and depths of the ocean? Those wondrous depths, after the ignorant, kindles the love of country, the fire of all the soundings of the navigator and the scoopings patriotism in millions who will never read his history. of the naturalist, are explored rather by the imaginaSo these portraits, which we give from time to time, tion than by the eye. But there is another ocean are not a mere compliment to men; they are a lesson of which this is the symbol, on the shores of which to the present and the future generations.
we stand, whose mysteries are around us, whose The well-written sketch by Dr. Nadal will amply depths we would fain explore. It is the ocean of repay the reading. We hope none will pass over it. eternity. Its surges roll up almost to our feet. We
shall sound its awful depths by and by. SHELLS OF THE OCEAN.-Such is the subject of our
We know of no spot so well calculated to inspire Title-Page to the volume for 1860, which we have
deep and thoughtful emotions as the shore of the had engraved on steel and send out with this number. It was drawn and engraved by Mr. F. E. Jones, beams of the rising moon, spreads a holy calmness
ocean when the still evening, relieved by the mild and we think our readers will agree with us that he
all around. For one who knows how to meditate; has succeeded in producing a delicate and beautiful
who sends out his very soul in communing with the picture. It is more than that; it is suggestive.
great and the grand in nature; who soars thus upOmitting for a moment its deeper lessons, we in
ward to communion with the Infinite, no other place sert for the benefit of the reader the beautiful song
can equal the ocean shore. The unceasing roll of “Shells of the Ocean"-composed by Lake, and set
the waves, their plaintive monotone as they break to music by Cherry. It is closely allied to the con
upon the strand, the broad expanse spread out in a ception of the artist-perhaps suggested it.
dead level of unvarying uniformity, may seem dull, "One summer eve, with pensive thought,
monotonous, and dreary to him who sees only with I wandered on the sea-beat shore,
the physical eye. But with what unending mystio Where oft in heedless, infant sport,
lore is it freighted; what mysterious intimations of I gathered shells in days before.
wonderful possibilities, to be realized in the future, The plashing wave like music fell,
does it impart to him whose intellectual soul enters Responsive to my fancy wild;
into communion with it! This sentiment is well indiA dream came o'er me like a spell;
cated in Percival's “Calm at Sea." We give only I thought I was again a child.
the two closing stanzas:
“The moon is bright,
Her ring of light,
In silver, pales the blue of heaven,
Or tints with gold
Where lightly rolled,
Like fleecy snow, the rack is driven,
How calm and clear
The silent air!
How smooth and still the glassy ocean! make a deeper impression upon us than they will on
While stars above many of our readers. In childhood we also wander
Seem lamps of love, ed upon “the sea-beat shore;" the sound of the "plash
To light the temple of devotion." ing wave,” like the far-off echo of former days, even ARTICLES DECLINED.—The following are respectnow comes back to our ear; we have gathered its shells fully declined; namely, “Little Maud,” “ The Isle and thrown them “one by one away." Nor is this of If," “ Wood-Pigeon in Spring," “ Autumn Musall. In the maturity of manhood we have walked ings," " After the Storm," " To the Memory of ---," again upon that "pebbly strand," and there the rec “ To One in Affliction," “ The Laughing Streamlet," ollections of “long, long ago" came back to us like “ The Baby,” “Pearl of Great Price," "A Mother's a rushing flood. Wonder not, then, that we feel the Soliloquy,” “ Alone with God,” “What Christ Camo power of those beautiful lines and of this expressive for,” “What I Love,
," " Earth and Heaven,” “Man's ocean view.
Life,” “Power of God," “Depths of the Ocean," As we have stood upon some jutting rock and “ True Wisdom," “ The Broken Household,” “The looked away down into the misty depths of the ocean, Dew-Drop," and "I am Going Home.” we have often been reminded of the old Greek fable “November Thoughts" is written in a style someof Glaucus, the fisherman. A certain herb gave what abrupt and is not without its value, but we can strength to his fish to leap back into their native ele- hardly use it. “God shall Wipe away all Tears," ment. Eating of the same herb he was seized with with some revision and consolidation, might have a strange longing to follow them, and thenceforth been used. “ Mary and Charley" lacks point. A
large number of sketches and poems on the death of truths of revelation; her parents were not pious and children have been received. We always lay aside wholly destitute of education, not even speaking a such articles with regret. Their publication would, word of English. The child bad learned the first no doubt, bring some degree of comfort to bleeding lessons of Divine truth from the lips of the minister hearts. But necessity knows no law.
of the Gospel, and in listening to the word on two or
three occasions only she had grasped the great and HINTS TO CONTRIBUTORS.—The following hints may essential doctrines of practical religion. In the humbe useful to some who write for us:
ble hovel of the rude denizens of the forest there are 1. Do not undertake to write unless you have many bright intellects that eagerly search for living something to write about.
truth, and the messenger of Christ, with the Divine 2. Think out your subject thoroughly and clearly. blessing, will gather many of them into the fold of
3. Condense your article into the least possible the good Shepherd—jewels that shall bedeck the space.
crown of the Savior." Would that all Christ's min4. Write with a good, clear hand, and only on one isters were “heaven-talkers!" side of the paper.
CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS OF THE GENERAL CONFER5. If your article is rejected make up your mind it is because it was not worth printing. Editors are
ENCE, is the title of a work also in course of publica
tion at the Western Book Concern, by Professor W. not apt to throw away articles of real value.
L. Harris, of the Ohio Wesleyan University. How to BECOME A CONTRIBUTOR.–We are in the
ANOTHER WORK BY DR. Elliott on the subject of constant reception of letters from young writers de
slavery is announced as being already prepared. We sirous of becoming contributors, or inquiring how
have not space for an outline, but from the announcethey may obtain introduction to the editors of the
ment we judge it takes up the subject where it was popular magazines. We can not reply to these let
left in that little work on the Bible and Slavery, and ters in detail, and, therefore, answer them here:
views it in its relation to the post-apostolic times 1. We can make no terms with an unknown writer, coming down to the present day. nor obligate ourselves to insert any article which has not been actually received and examined.
JANUARY 1, 1860.-To-day, dear reader, you have 2. Certificates of character and talents are good, crossed the line that separates between the old and but the editor can determine nothing by them with
the new year. You stand upon the frontier of a new out a specimen from the writer.
and untraveled region. It has been well said that 3. Our list of contributors is very large, but we
pilgrims through time, unlike pilgrims through space, always have room for contributions which bear the
must of necessity be ignorant of the region before stamp of genius and skillful execution.
them. We have no map of the future to consult; no 4. The best way for a young writer to introduco report of previous explorers to study; and can climb himself to an editor is to send the very best article
no "mount of vision” which commands the prospect he is capable of preparing. This will generally re
of our future path. What sights we shall see, what ceive prompt attention. The miner does not rejoice perils and difficulties we shall encounter, or how near more when he has found an ingot of gold, than the
we are to the dark river which flows through all the editor when he has found a genuine writer.
region, crossing the very path we must travel, and
from which we may not turn back, are things which THE HEAVEN-TALKER.—The western Agents have no glance of thought can ascertain and which no now in course of publication "Life among the Choc- prophet is pormitted to foretell. Shall we then start taw Indians, and Sketches of the South-West,” by back with alarm? shall we tremble with fear? Nay, Rev. II. C. Benson, A. M., formerly missionary, but if we are the children of God, and living for the great now of the California conference. We clip from the purpose of glorifying him, we may tako to ourselves proofs the following incident, to give our readers a that gracious promise, which shall be our “pillar of taste of the forthcoming work. Mr. Page, one of the cloud by day and of fire by night”-“My presence missionaries, was remarkably successful in imparting shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." A rich views of heaven and the necessity of fitness for promise like this, having relation to manifestations it to the youngest and simplest minds among the of mercy, which are not merely circumstantial or untutored savages. “Calling at a cabin where he temporary, shall retain its force in every age and had preached two or three times on previous occa- prove applicable to God's people every-where. sions, a little daughter, not more than four years of promise given to Joshua was also meant for Paul; age, recognized him, and addressed him as follows: the promise meant for Moses was also meant for us. ""Are you the heaven-talker?'
There it is on the page waiting for appropriation. ««Yes,' said Page, 'I am a preacher.'
It is as surely ours as if, like the message to the «Will you heaven-talk now ?'
shepherds at Bethlehem, it came to us, with stroke «No, not now,' said Page.
of light and rush of mystic imusic, straight from the "«Will you heaven-talk after we eat supper?' eternal throne." Let us then, dear reader, march
“Yes, I will preach after supper. Do you love boldly along the sacred line of duty-not doubting such talk?'
but the Divine “presence shall go with us and give ««Yes,' said the child, 'I do; for it will make our us peace.” hearts good and then take us up to live with God in This may be a solemn, but to us at least it is not a heaven.'
sad introduction to the greeting of “a happy new “That little daughter had never been taught the year” which we would send to all our readers.